USDOL approves CNMI’s PUA and FPUC implementation plan

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres announced on Saturday that the US Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration has approved the CNMI’s implementation plan for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs.

With the approval of the implementation plan, USDOL also approved an initial disbursement of $70.5 million for the PUA and FPUC programs in the CNMI.

“Lt. Governor Palacios and I want to thank everyone at USDOL ETA who have been working closely with our Secretary of Labor Vicky Benavente and her team at CNMI DOL,” said Governor Torres. “We are eager to get these benefits out to employees who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We also want to commend Secretary Benavente and her team at CNMI DOL for all their hard work to fulfill the requirements of the program since I executed the CNMI’s agreement with US DOL on March 29, immediately after President Trump signed the CARES Act into law,” added Governor Torres.

“I want to thank Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios for their support and to the US Department of Labor for assisting us as we get this very much needed assistance to employees in the CNMI,” said Secretary of Labor Vicky Benavente.

“I also want to recognize our hardworking team at the CNMI Department of Labor for their hard work and dedication. We will be pushing out this program very soon and will be making announcements before we open the application period,” added. Secretary Benavente.

For the latest contact information and guidance, please visit the CNMI DOL website at or the Office of the Governor website at

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CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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